Line Edit: “The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring”

A line-by-line edit of an excerpt from the script.

Screenshot by the author; © 2001 by Warner Bros.

Original Text

INT. BRIDGE OF KHAZAD-DÛM, MORIA - DAYThe FELLOWSHIP run into the SECOND HALL ... the floor is split with fissures that spit flame.GANDALF
(yelling)
Over the bridge! Fly!
They race towards the slender bridge of stone ... without kerb or rail ... at the far end of the hall. The FELLOWSHIP recklessly hurry over the dizzying bridge .. but GANDALF ... the last ... pauses in the middle of the span ... he faces the BALROG ... staff in one hand ... GLAMDRING in the other!ANGLE ON: FRODO looks back in horror:GANDALF (CONT’D)
You cannot pass!
FRODO
(alarmed yell)
Gandalf!
GANDALF
(yelling)
I am a servant of the Secret Fire, wielder of the flame of Anor. The dark fire will not avail you, flame of Udûn.
FRODO watches as the BALROG puts one foot on the bridge and draws up to FULL HEIGHT, wings spreading from wall-to-wall. GANDALF is a tiny figure, balanced precariously on the narrow bridge.GANDALF (CONT’D)
Go back to the Shadow!
The BALROG slashes at GANDALF with its SWORD OF FLAME ... GANDALF blocks with GLAMDRING ... a ringing clash and the BALROG’S SWORD SHATTERS into MOLTEN FRAGMENTS!GANDALF
(booming)
You shall not pass!!
The BALROG places one foot onto the bridge.ARAGORN
He cannot stand alone! Elendil! I am with you Gandalf!
BOROMIR
(raising his sword)
Gondor!
ANGLE ON: ARAGORN and BOROMIR race forward, swords drawn. GANDALF CRIES ALOUD as he summons his LAST RESERVES OF STRENGTH!!He thumps the bridge with his staff ... a blinding sheet of white flame springs up ... the staff shatters ... the bridge breaks ... right at the BALROG’S feet.The stone bridge drops away into the GULF ... from under the BALROG. For a moment, the great BEAST remains poised in the air ... then it plunges down:SLOW MOTION: RELIEF floods FRODO’S face ... GANDALF remains trembling on the lip of the broken bridge.SLOW MOTION: As the BALROG falls, he lashes out with his whip of fire...SLOW MOTION: The thongs of the whip lash and curl around GANDALF’S knees, dragging him over the brink! GANDALF just manages to hang on by his fingertips.FRODO
(screaming)
Gandalf!
GANDALF
(fierce)
Fly, you fools!
CLOSE ON: GANDALF lets go his grip and falls away ... following the BALROG into the BOTTOMLESS ABYSS!

Line Edit

INT. BRIDGE OF KHAZAD-DÛM, MORIA — DAY
The FELLOWSHIP run into the SECOND HALL ... the floor is split with fissures that spit flame.
GANDALF(yelling)
Over the bridge!Fly!They race towards the slender bridge of stone, without kerb or rail, at the far end of the hall.
The fellowship recklessly hurry over the dizzying bridge, but Gandalf, the last, pauses in the middle of the span.
He faces the balrog, staff in one hand, Glamdring in the other!
ANGLE ON: Frodo looks back in horror:
GANDALF (CONT’D)
You cannot pass!Frodo looks back in horror.FRODO(alarmed yell)
Gandalf!
GANDALF(yelling)
I am a servant of the Secret Fire, wielder of the flame of Anor.
The dark fire will not avail you, flame of Udûn.
Frodo watches as the Balrog puts one foot on the bridge and draws up to full height, wings spreading from wall-to-wall.
Gandalf is a tiny figure, balanced precariously on the narrow bridge.
GANDALF (CONT’D)Go back to the Shadow!
The balrog slashes at Gandalf with its sword of flame.Gandalf blocks with Glamdring.A ringing clash and the balrog’s sword shatters into molten fragments.
GANDALF(booming)You shall not pass!!
The balrog places one foot onto the bridge.
ARAGORNHe cannot stand alone!Elendil!
I am with you Gandalf!
BOROMIR(raising his sword)
Gondor!Aragorn and Boromir race forward, swords drawn.
Gandalf cries aloud as he summons his last reserves of strength.He thumps the bridge with his staff.
A blinding sheet of white flame springs up.
The staff shatters. The bridge breaks right at the balrog’s feet.
For a moment, the great beast remains poised in the air, then it plunges down:
SLOW MOTION: Relief floods Frodo’s face. Gandalf remains trembling on the lip of the broken bridge.
As the balrog falls, he lashes out with his whip of fire.
The thongs of the whip lash and curl around Gandalf’s knees, dragging him over the brink.
Gandalf just manages to hang on by his fingertips.FRODOGandalf!GANDALFFly, you fools!CLOSE ON: Gandalf lets go his grip and falls away, following the balrog into the bottomless abyss.

Edited Text

INT. MORIA - BRIDGE OF KHAZAD-DÛM - DAYThe fellowship run into the Second Hall. The floor is split with fissures that spit flame.GANDALF
Over the bridge! Fly!
They race towards the slender bridge of stone, without kerb or rail, at the far end of the hall. The fellowship hurry in single file over the bridge. Gandalf, the last in line, stops in the middle of the span. He turns around and faces the balrog, staff in one hand, Glamdring in the other.GANDALF
You cannot pass!
FRODO
Gandalf!
GANDALF
I am a servant of the Secret Fire, wielder of the Flame of Anor. The dark fire will not avail you, flame of Udûn.
The balrog steps onto the bridge and draws up to its full height, spreading its wings of darkness from wall to wall.GANDALF
Go back to the Shadow!
The balrog slashes at Gandalf with its sword of flame. Gandalf blocks with Glamdring. The swords clash, and the balrog’s sword shatters into molten fragments.GANDALF
(booming)
You shall not pass!
The balrog steps further onto the bridge.ARAGORN
He cannot stand alone! Elendil! I am with you, Gandalf!
Boromir raises his sword.BOROMIR
Gondor!
Aragorn and Boromir race to Gandalf.Gandalf cries aloud as he summons his last reserves of strength. He smites the bridge with the bottom of his staff. A blinding sheet of white flame springs from the point of impact. The staff shatters, and the bridge crumbles beneath the balrog. For a moment, the great beast hovers, then plunges into the abyss.Relief floods Frodo’s face. Aragorn and Boromir relax. Gandalf trembles.From the abyss, the balrog flings its whip of fire. The thongs of the whip curl around Gandalf’s knees, dragging him to the brink of the broken bridge. Gandalf just manages to hang on by his fingertips.FRODO
Gandalf!
GANDALF
Fly, you fools!
Gandalf lets go his grip and falls into the abyss.

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